25/07/2017

Godzilla - Mess

Quick Thoughts: Godzilla (2014)

Stuff about underground creatures, Godzilla and a whole bunch of humans.


What an immense piece of shit. Why did I do this to myself? The newest version of Godzilla is a complete mess and one of the most frustrating films I've watched in a while. Where do I start? All of the characters suck, the script is nonsense and the direction is incredibly poor. However, there are positives: Godzilla looks awesome and we get some awe-inspiring imagery spotted along this narrative. Beyond that... this movie only manages to shoot itself in the foot time and time again.

I won't mention the characters, so we'll jump straight into the direction. The cinematic language and camera work throughout are incredibly weak. I don't know why Edwards chose to base this movie on the human perspective like the original does when it is so far removed in almost every sense of the word - the only thing it got close was the design of Godzilla. Technically speaking, however, the most ridiculous element of this narrative is the sound design. Godzilla's roar is ok, but how much does this thing weigh? Because, judging by the sound of his footsteps, he can't weigh more than a ballerina's tutu. I can understand that the sound design, much like the camera work, is impressionistically geared towards the human perspective, but the isolation of the sound is plainly stupid in the third act. However, generally, the course that this movie takes is so ill-designed that its ridiculous. To get into this, we'll have to delve into the script.

The original Godzilla of course concerned the atomic bombings at the end of WWII, and whilst this movie constantly references the original - and this version of Godzilla only - there is no real follow-on at all. In fact, the subtext of this Godzilla was the most confusing element of the narrative. Everything begins with an implication that the past is about to be re-lived with numerous allusions to governmental conspiracy and secrecy. However, with the second act and Cranston's character's (who closely resembles Dr. Kyohei Yamane from the original) death, there is a huge left turn. From here we follow a solider and the 'paranoia' that some would say is captured by Gojira is slowly turned on its elbow. In such, not only is this version about an acceptance of Godzilla and nuclear weaponry, but it is seemingly a patriotic film with many theological undertones - just look to the aesthetics of the final battle. Added to this, however, there are numerous allusions to natural disasters and, possibly, terrorist attacks. What this leaves this film to be about, I really cannot put together; terrorists, soldiers, government conspiracy, natural disasters, God, hell, wrath, family, nuclear weaponry... you tell me.

I could delve deeper into much of this, but I'd only end up voicing constant frustration - and that's the one word I'd use to describe this movie: frustrating. Because this narrative has no clear subtextual motivations, the decision to never focus on the spectacle that is Godzilla and destruction is nothing but stupid. It is then quite clear that Edwards watched the wrong Spielberg movie; he should have watched E.T instead of Jaws, then he may have found stronger cinematic devices than endless bit-parts and the news to tell his story whilst actually showing us the monsters.

Nothing more than an annoyance, Godzilla is an abysmal movie that does nothing but make me cringe at the thought of much more to come from both the world of King Kong (which hasn't gone as wrong as this yet) and Gojira. With that said, what are your thoughts?






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